"Climate change" used to sound political. Now, it has become a factual, mainstream topic. Even the medical community has assimilated it into its messaging. Just recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), one of Climate for Health's newest partner organizations, invited its members to join Climate for Health and learn more about the work that the APP is doing to promote education and awareness around climate change. This includes information for parents that links climate change with the health of children, urging pediatricians and politicians to work together to solve the crisis. The AAP is also promoting work on Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units, which provide direct consultations to health care providers, parents, public officials and others. All of this information and more can be found on the new AAP web page on climate change. We encourage you to check it out. After all, learning about the health impacts of climate change - and actions you can take to address it - is health education.
Pediatricians play important role in discussing impacts and solutions to international crisis
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement that links climate change with the health of children, urging pediatricians and politicians to work together to solve this crisis and protect children from climate-related threats including natural disasters, heat stress, lower air quality, increased infections, and threats to food and water supplies.
"Every child need a safe and healthy environment and climate change is a rising public health threat to all children in this country and around the world," said AAP President Sandra G. Hassink, MD, FAAP. "Pediatricians have a unique and powerful voice in this conversation due to their knowledge of child health and disease and their role in ensuring the health of current and future children."
The policy statement, "Global Climate Change and Children's Health," updates a 2007 policy, and is being published in the November 2015 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 26).
In the 2015 policy statement, the AAP states that:
- There is wide consensus among scientific organizations and climatologists that the broad effects known commonly as "climate change" are the result of contemporary human activities.
- According to the World Health Organization, more than 88 percent of the existing burden of disease attributable to climate change occurs in children younger than 5 years old.
- Climate change poses a threat to human health and safety, but children are uniquely vulnerable.
- Failure to take prompt, substantive action would be an act of injustice to all children.
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